New York Jets Training Camp Battles Edition One: QB, RB, WR and TE

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Sept 30, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Santonio Holmes (10) catches a pass while being defended by San Francisco 49ers strong safety Donte Whitner (31) during the first half at MetLIfe Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

One of the biggest weaknesses on the Jets is the wide receiver position. The fact that they did not draft one is puzzling to say the least. Tavon Austin would be on this team if it weren’t for a trade between the Bills and the Rams. The fact that he is not here will hurt for some time to come. The team’s first string receiver Santonio Holmes is a 2nd stringer on almost any other team. For this reason a fan cannot simply look the main tier of Holmes, Kerley, Hill, and possibly Gates. The sub tier needs to hold a star or the Jets will be in for a long season. Braylon Edwards needs to be resigned by this team, it is a no brainer. There is one name in the sub tier who stands out by the name of Zach Rogers who is my pick as the player to watch. He has the feel of what happened with the Giants and Victor Cruz. Completely unknown, comes to play, and wants to be a star. To break it down for the casual fan here is how the wide receiver core breaks down, along with my prediction. The main tier consists of Santonio Holmes (1st string), Stephen Hill (2nd string), Jeremy Kerley (slot/3rd string receiver and possibly most talented), and Clyde Gates (4th/ 5th string). Sub tier consists of Zach Rogers who should beat out Clyde Gates for the (4th string), and Jordan White who in my mind will be the last receiver to make the squad. All other participants will mostly likely be cut. These players include Joseph Collins, Vidal Hazelton, Thomas Mayo, Titus Ryan, Ryan Spadola, K.J. Stroud and Marcus Davis. If the team resigns Braylon Edwards, Jordan White or maybe Clyde Gates will possibly get the axe. Roster: Santonio Holmes, Stephen Hill, Jeremy Kerley, Zach Rogers, Clyde Gates, Jordan White

The last group that will be discussed in this edition is the tight end squad. In a west coast offense the tight end is essential. The problem with this is the Jets don’t have a solid tight end. Most of the members are unproven and it’s hard to make a main tier besides for Jeff Cumberland. There are currently five tight ends on the squad and it is questionable if any of them would make another teams’ squad besides for Cumberland. There is buzz around two players this year at the tight end position, Hayden Smith and Mike Shanahan. Smith barely played football before last year but is getting rave reviews from the coaches. Shanahan on the other hand has great promise as an undrafted free agent. The other players are Konrad Reuland and Chris Pantale. As you can see the only player set in stone is Cumberland. Being in the New York market you have to follow the buzz around the players this early in the offseason. Roster: Jeff Cumberland, Hayden Smith, Mike Shanahan

If you enjoyed my assessment please stay tuned for edition two where numerous other camp battles will be discussed. So many things can change from now until the start of the season, but that is what makes the NFL so exciting. Be sure to follow me on twitter @koda522 and if you have any questions or suggestions be sure to contact me or @TheJetPress. Thanks for reading and as always bleed green or don’t bother bleeding.

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  • matr dontelli iii

    hey rich, nice job. a few issues though, first being i just read an unconfirmed report that garrard’s knee is not responding and he says he’s done. i guess that’ll throw a wrench into the qb plans. i expect bohannon to see serious playing time. it sounds like pantale has some promise and i really hope hayden becomes a solid player. at wr i’m hoping we don’t see more of gates. jordan hill supposedly has somethng to offer and he’d better start offering it real soon. with the uncertainty surrounding holmes foot we need for the rest of the guys to step up and play, especially stephen hill.

    • Rich Wilhelm

      Thank you. Bonahan is a fullback who I will talk about in that next edition. The quarterbacks will be Sanchez, Smith and McElroy now. Stephen Hill shows promise but is unproven.